Four arrested after they occupy Manchester tech company connected to Israel’s weapons trade 

Jul 1, 2024 | 0 comments

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Four activists were arrested this afternoon after they targeted another link in Britain’s chain of complicity with Israel’s genocide in Gaza, as the Manchester offices of ‘CDW UK’ were severely disrupted by an activist blockade.

Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest weapons company, are facilitated in their British presence by support from CDW’s software and technology services, and so, as part of a nationwide campaign against complicity in Israeli atrocities, activists used a vehicle and lock-on device to blockade the back entrance whilst one occupied the ledge at the building’s entry. Locals gathered in support of the action and drivers passing by repeatedly beeped their horns to express solidarity. The building was also sprayed with blood-red paint – to serve as a reminder to CDW of the Palestinian bloodshed from which their firm profits.

CDW provide supply chain management, IT solutions, cyber security and eProcurement services to the British operations of the Elbit brand, part of the global Israeli arms firm. CDW are contracted for IT services for ‘Elbit Systems UK Ltd’, headquartered in Bristol, from which Elbit oversees drone and arms production nation-wide. This is not the first time the company has been targeted, with activists spraying a site in Peterborough with red paint and shattering their windows.

This action follows on the heels of others taken to target Elbit’s partners & suppliers. Last week activists occupied the GRiD Defence Systems site in High Wycombe, barricading themselves inside and proceeding to destroy hardware and unfurled banners. This came after activists destroyed dozens of boxes of GRiD processors found inside Elbit’s Kent factory during an action, the total damage-caused estimated by police to be worth over £1million. GRiD manufactures a range of military computers, processors, and similar electronic equipment, either for direct battlefield use or to be integrated into other systems.

Since October 7th, over 38,000 Palestinians have been killed, more than 86,000 injured and the majority of the people in Gaza are now displaced. Elbit Systems supply the majority of Israel’s military drone fleet, land based equipment, bullets, munitions and missiles. Their weaponry is often marketed as “battle-tested”, after deployment against the people of Gaza. The genocide of Gaza would not be possible without Elbit’s weaponry – and those firms, including CDW and GRiD, are made complicit by their facilitation of Elbit’s deadly business. 

CDW is not the first to be targeted. After similar actions, five other companies have ended their association with Elbit’s deadly trade in the past two months. These include Elbit’s weapons transporters Kuehne+Nagel, recruiters iO associates, property managers Fisher German, website designers Naked Creativity and legal firm MLL Legal

Palestine Action will continue to target all those who allow Elbit to continue their business of genocide, until they declare they’ve cut all ties. 

ENDS
NOTES TO EDITORS

If you would like any further information on Palestine action, please contact media@palestineaction.org

Palestine Action is a direct-action network of groups and individuals formed with the mandate of taking action against the sites of Elbit Systems and other companies complicit in Israeli apartheid, calling for all such sites to be shut down.